Monday, April 15, 2013

Miscellaneous Madness: Acorn Cap Jewels

This isn't naturally a prime time of the year to find acorn caps (instead, in our neighborhood, the warm weather means an increase in street meat incidents -- apparently when it's nice out, the number of chicken wings eaten outside soars and, correspondingly, the number of chicken bones left on the street for doggie to try and snag increases as well), BUT when we were at a local park last week, I started finding tons of them. So mom went with it. She remembered seeing several tutorials for acorn cap jewels and we decided to collect a big bunch.

It turns out that it is super easy, uses materials you likely already have on hand at home, and produces bright jewels that can be used in oh so many ways. Here's what you'll need:

- empty acorn caps
- markers (we used our felt tip MALA IKEA markers)
- white school glue
- playdough, rice, beans or some other similar substance to hold your acorns upright as they dry (we used an old batch of playdough)

Scrape any dirt present out of your acorn caps and get to coloring them inside with your markers. The darker you color, the brighter your jewels will be. Set the colored tops upright in the playdough (or rice, beans, etc.). Fill them to the brim with white school glue. Let set for 48 hours and watch them transform into bright shiny jewels!

The first time we did this we used a batch of glue that had some liquid starch in it (from a botched flubber attempt) and it didn't turn out exactly as we hoped -- not all of the glue evaporated in all of the tops. We made sure we had "clean" glue the second go round and had much better success. We've been using these little gems all week for all sorts of pretend play -- they've been currency, treasure, used in patterns AND some super cute fairy projects that we'll reveal soon. If these are currently popping up in your neighborhood, get on it!

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